Extra Police To Bolster Security At Gestapo Chief’s Trial
LYON, France (AP) _ About 300 police officers will be assigned full-time to provide security when the war crimes trial of Klaus Barbie opens next week, police chief Georges Bastelica said Wednesday.
Bastelica issued a statement saying 20 policemen will work exclusively as bodyguards to Barbie, accused of committing crimes against humanity while head of the Gestapo in Lyon from 1942-44. His trial opens Monday and is expected to last at least six weeks.
The route used for taking Barbie across town from the Saint-Joseph prison to the courthouse will be changed regularly and decided only at the last moment each day, Bastelica said.
The nine jurors, three judges and some of the witnesses will be guarded by 50 to 70 officers in plainclothes.
″In general, the security measures will be as thorough and effective as possible,″ he said.
Barbie, 73, worked for U.S. army intelligence after the war in West Germany, then was helped by American agents to escape to Bolivia under a false name. He was twice convicted of war crimes in absentia and sentenced to death by French military tribunals, but the statute of limitations has expired in those cases.
In the new trial, he is accused of complicity in the murders of Jews and Resistance fighters deported to German death camps. If convicted, the penalty is life in prison.